Take it from me, there may be a bit of a blip in the Chinese economy – as there is in most economies around the world at the moment – but there’s still a vibrancy and a huge rush of creative business ideas in China, particularly in Shanghai and other urban growth areas.
You really need to go to China – to step off a plane at Shanghai’s Pudong airport and travel towards the centre of the city – to get a feel for what’s still happening and what’s possible in China. It’s a feeling you don’t experience in London or Paris, although the latter city has more sedate cultured, less business-driven charms.
Exciting things are still happening in China and happening fast. Business growth may be slowing but it’s slowing from a previous breakneck speed that was vertiginous and ultimately dangerous in the long run.
Now that the business climate is calmer, steadier if you will, it could prove be the best time for a long-term business investment, or to make long-lasting business connections that will take you business to the next level – and way beyond.
Crucially developments and trends in China and South East Asia are reshaping culture and trends in the West. See this from the World Future Trends Summit 2012:
‘Asian values and culture are rapidly shaping the ways of the west. Connectivity, new information media, mobility, shopping behavior and culinary habits are just a few of the trends.’
I don’t recommend even thinking about doing business in China without doing lots of research, talking to experts who are in the know and have excellent connections, and more importantly perhaps, going there in person to understand the opportunities and the challenges that you face. And when you do go you’ll also discover one of the world’s most vibrant and inspiring cultures and a people who are warm, welcoming and interested in what you have to say, as long as you have the ability to communicate with them.
Catherine Yu Gu is from Shanghai and knows the financial and consumer sectors extremely well and has many close contacts across a range of sectors. Eugene Burns has visited China several times, and worked with companies there on brand development and marketing projects and knows how much help a westerner needs to be successful and thrive in such a bustling, yet potentially extremely rewarding, environment.
It’s also good that we understand not just design and communication but Chinese design and communication too. And then of course there are the Chinese social media platforms – the equivalent of Twitter and Facebook – to investigate and explore.
So talk to us before you make any decisions and, if you’re really interested in doing business in China, get in touch soon.